For One Family, Budget Cuts Could Mean the End of Healthy Kids

When Gov. Jerry Brown disclosed that the state had discovered $6.6 billion in unexpected tax revenue, its effect on the budget crisis was to shift the debate to a conversation most Californians can probably relate to: Hey, we’re a little short. For the state, Brown is like the forgetful uncle who discovers loose change in the cushions of his couch, which means he can finally repay part of the $16.2 billion he owed you in early May. The deficit now is less than $10 billion, which still sounds like a lot. But San Jose’s Blanca and Juan Garcia, who struggle to hold body and soul together on his salary as a striper — “painting the lines on parking lots,” he says of the job that has supported their family for 15 years — know what it’s like to be a little short. “Our income isn’t very high, but it also isn’t very low,” says Blanca. Juan makes $50,000 a year, but says his boss recently told everyone on his crew they had to take a salary cut or risk being laid off.


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